The renovation project will cost about $70 million, Laing says, and take two years to complete. He says the earliest the hotel could open now is January 2007.
Hotel financing, one of the toughest real estate loans to secure, often involves multiple banks and lenders who assume and spread out the debt. Most convention hotels are publicly financed, at least in part. But ECI Development, a company of Chicago developer Gary Beller, has vowed to complete the Miller & Rhoads renovation without asking for city money.
There are many pieces of the project that depend on securing the loan, such as historic tax credits and the hotel franchise (Laing says there's an agreement with Hilton), but those agreements depend on first securing the loan.
"They all kind of leverage off of each other," Laing says. "We continue to make progress every day." Scott Bass
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